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(Page 161 of 250)
NHL Insider

Hawks have personnel, but not seeing PP results

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 2:21 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Looking at all the stars on their roster, it would be easy to assume the Chicago Blackhawks have a dangerous power play.

Each time they get the man advantage, coach Joel Quenneville rolls out a combination of highly-skilled star forwards like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Andrew Brunette plus talented defensemen like Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook -- not to mention up-and-coming youngster Nick Leddy.

After 10 games, however, the results are a bit perplexing.

Heading into Monday night's home game against the Nashville Predators (8:30 p.m.), Chicago's power play is ranked 27th in the League and has converted just four of 38 power-play opportunities into goals (10.5 percent) -- including an 0-for-5 performance in a 5-2 win this past Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Even more stunning is the fact Chicago's League-best penalty-kill units have produced three shorthanded goals already while the power play has actually been on the ice for a pair of goals against.
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No shortage of surprise teams in season's first month

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 1:56 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Don't worry, hockey fans. You're not holding your newspapers upside down, and there's nothing wrong with your computer.

The NHL standings heading into the final day of the first month of the season are correct.

Odd-looking, certainly, but correct nonetheless.

Yes, that's the Toronto Maple Leafs, out of the playoffs since 2004, sitting atop the Northeast Division and second in the Eastern Conference.

Yes, the Ottawa Senators, who finished 13th in the East last season, are one point behind the Leafs and fifth in the conference.

That's right, last season's Stanley Cup finalists would be home for the playoffs if the season ended today. While Vancouver has the same 11 points as eighth-place Nashville, they're 10th in the conference. And Boston, the defending Cup champion, is 15th in the East and 29th in the League.
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Sweden's new-look hockey model paying dividends

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 9:36 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

A change in education, coaching -- and, most important, attitude -- at an early age has played a vital role in the tremendous rise in good fortune for Sweden, the premier hockey-producing country in Europe.

It wasn't too long ago the Swedish Ice Hockey Association was forced to come to grips with the fact its educational and developmental methods had become outdated. Between 1997 and 2002, the Swedish Under-20 junior national team was deemed a failure -- finishing fourth twice and fifth or worst four other times.
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Ramsay ready for 'emotional' matchup with Winnipeg

Sunday, 10.30.2011 / 4:05 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

Craig Ramsay has been in the NHL for so long and worked for so many organizations, whether as a coach or a player, that numerous games have special meaning for him.

Add to that list Monday's game when Ramsay's Florida Panthers, where he is an assistant coach to Kevin Dineen, host the Winnipeg Jets.

Ramsay served as head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers last season and when that franchise relocated to Winnipeg in the offseason, Ramsay was not retained. On Monday, he will face a roster in which 18 of the 23 active players played for him last season and a lot of special relationships were forged.

"In all honesty, now, since I've bounced around from one team to another, I have a whole bunch of those teams where you have special meaning for the game and you have to try to set that aside," Ramsay said. "I'd like to say there's no extra emotion, but there is… There is emotion there, but I really try not to let it affect the way I do my job and what I have to accomplish.
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Jagr providing great chemistry with Giroux, Hartnell

Saturday, 10.29.2011 / 11:15 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The way Jaromir Jagr tells it, he and Claude Giroux go together like oil in water.

Jaromir Jagr
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 11
SOG: 35 | +/-: 3
"Don't forget, the age difference between me and G, it's like 20 years," said Jagr, who is really only 16 years older than Giroux. "And, how I play hockey and how he plays hockey, it's totally different hockey. You know, hockey in 20 years has changed a lot."

Maybe so, but when Jagr and Giroux add Scott Hartnell to the mix, the chemistry experiment produces completely different lab results, such as a combined 23 points on 11 goals and 12 assists over the past four games between the three of them.

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Pronger recovering slowly from eye injury

Saturday, 10.29.2011 / 8:15 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers captain Chris Pronger says he feels lucky that his eye injury isn't as bad as it could have been, but he won't go into detail on his thoughts about wearing a visor when he returns to the ice or if his stance on them has changed.

It should be noted, however, that Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren said Pronger wouldn't be cleared to play unless he agrees to wear a visor.

"That's getting a little ahead of ourselves," Pronger said Saturday night in his first public comments since getting struck in the right eye by Mikhail Grabovski's stick during the first period of last Monday's game against Toronto. "I have to get back on the ice first."
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Bruins back in Montreal, again looking for turnaround

Saturday, 10.29.2011 / 2:33 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins have been here before.

It wasn't exactly the same situation as the Bruins find themselves in now, but when they face the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday night they should be able to draw some inspiration from a very similar feeling last spring.

The Bruins were down two games to none against the Canadiens in the playoffs last season coming to Montreal for Game 3, but they pulled out a 4-2 win in that game and followed it up with a comeback victory, 5-4, in overtime in Game 4 on their way to a seven-game series win.

These Bruins arrive in Montreal sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference and already assured of having the worst 10-game start of any defending champion in 17 years.

A regular season game before Halloween could never justifiably be compared to a playoff game in April, but this is probably as close as you can get.
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Kevin Smith finds movie inspiration through hockey

Saturday, 10.29.2011 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"I'm in a great position. I get to say what I want to say about growing up and moving on professionally, entering one's career -- in this case hockey. And be more brutally honest about it."
-- Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith is the first person to admit that he's far from a "sports guy."

However, the award-winning filmmaker not only has dedicated himself to the game of hockey, he's announced that his final movie -- actually, movies -- will be hockey-themed.

Smith currently is working on the script for "Hit Somebody," which is based on the Warren Zevon song of the same name. The song tells the fictional story of Buddy McCracken, who dreams of scoring a goal in a game, but instead, is used by teams more for his fists.

Nicholas Braun, who recently starred in Smith's horror film "Red State," will play McCracken. Also appearing in the films will be renowned actors John Goodman, Michael Parks and Alan Rickman -- all of whom also have worked with Smith on previous projects.
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Nugent-Hopkins, Landeskog put friendship on pause

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 4:25 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog became friends with Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins during the weeks leading up to the 2011 NHL Draft, but the relationship won't be the same when the 18-year-old rookies meet on the ice for the first time Friday at the Pepsi Center.

"We went through the whole process of the (NHL Scouting) Combine and the draft and going to the Stanley Cup Final together," Landeskog said after this morning's skate. "We became pretty good friends. Obviously he's in Edmonton and I'm here now, so there's not going to be any friendship out on the ice.
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Four top draftees, including RNH, are sticking around

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 3:31 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Gabriel Landeskog
Left Wing - COL
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 6
SOG: 36 | +/-: 2
Gabriel Landeskog, the No. 2 pick of the 2011 Draft, will play his 10th NHL game Friday against the Edmonton Oilers.

By playing, it will start the clock on his three-year, entry-level contract. Prior to the game, the Avalanche could have returned him to junior hockey and delayed the start of that deal by a season.

However, Avs General Manager Greg Sherman told NHL.com he didn't need nine games to see that Landeskog was ready for the NHL.

"Right in that first week there," Sherman said. "We had things set up for him. He would be with us."
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Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets